But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

For the Church - Apologetic Report
Monday, 18 June 2018 15:05

The Wrath of God and the Gospel

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Preachers today often complain that the concept of sin is so foreign to today’s postmodern mind that it seems nearly impossible to get across. Indeed. But if this is so (perhaps we should say, because this is so), the concept of divine wrath is still more difficult.

How...

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Sunday, 17 June 2018 15:15

The Joy of Discipleship

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But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. John 17:13

My friend Godwin Sathianathan once preached at Middletown Church on Mark 12:28-34, and one particular thing he said in his introduction landed on me especially heavily....

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Sunday, 17 June 2018 15:10

The Local Church and Its Role in Missions

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In the conversation on missions, we mustn’t forget the main focus of missions: reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ for the glory of God. Many of us can recall sermons on Matthew 28 — the Great Commission passage—but how can we put that into action? Do some...

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Sunday, 17 June 2018 15:05

Links For The Church (6/18)

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Prayer: The Key to Long-Distance Friendships

When someone leaves for the mission field, or even just to a different location, we resort to social media as our means for keeping up. Jaclyn Parrish shares that this may not be enough, and we have a greater means of connection in prayer.

5 Warning Signs...

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Saturday, 16 June 2018 15:15

Help, Lord

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"Help, Lord."-- Psalm 12:1

The prayer itself is remarkable, for it is short, but seasonable, sententious, and suggestive. David mourned the fewness of faithful men, and therefore lifted up his heart in supplication--when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator. He evidently felt his own...

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Thursday, 14 June 2018 15:15

I Wouldn’t Have Chosen Me

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If you told my 12-year-old self that I would end up being a pastor, you would have been met with doubt and disbelief. If you had told my family the same thing, they would have laughed in your face. The simple fact is that it makes no sense for God to use me in ministry. I would not have chosen...

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Thursday, 14 June 2018 15:10

The Gospel And Your Work

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?” That question, which is so common today, would be shockingly irrelevant for the vast majority of humans who have ever lived.

In the premodern world, one’s work usually was not a matter of choice. It was essential to one’s identity....

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Thursday, 14 June 2018 15:05

The Personal Magnificence of Jesus

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The first time I took a trip out west towards the Rocky Mountains, I had no idea what was in store for me. Sure, I had seen pictures. The snow-capped peaks. The prismatic mash-up of sepia, emerald, and slate. Whether I was scanning a postcard or a Google image, it all looked glorious from afar....

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Wednesday, 13 June 2018 15:15

Not Easily Triggered

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Everyone is mad now, seemingly all the time. If you go to any social media outlet, you will find plenty of outrage. Plenty of people being “triggered.” It's all evidence of one of our favorite sins: anger.

There is one verse that seems to convict me more and more everytime I read...

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Every semester as I teach college students theology, I have them read one or two excerpts from Jonathan Edwards—and every time, I get one of two responses. First, he’s difficult to read! The second response I get from some students is about how Edwards simply sees life differently than...

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We plant gospel-centered churches because it is the prescribed Great Commission strategy found in the Scripture. The apostle Paul never evangelizes and disciples without planting churches (cf. Acts). So wherever the gospel was preached, congregations were formed where new believers could gather to...

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018 15:10

We Are Not Meant To Be Awesome

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Sometime in 2014, the former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, made a pretty stunning statement. It was in the middle of a speech in which he was reflecting on his own legacy at the age of 72. He spoke about initiatives he had spearheaded in to reduce obesity, eliminate second-hand smoke...

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018 15:05

Give Us Our Daily Bread

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I bought deodorant the other day. Just ordinary, off the shelf deodorant. Nothing special.

It was somewhat mindless. A new scent. A different brand. But nothing earth-shattering that I was making this small purchase.

But I haven’t thrown out the old one yet. It sits there on the shelf because...

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Monday, 11 June 2018 15:15

The Key to Eternal Life

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Last year, I preached three funerals. One for a stranger in my city and two for my grandparents. Funerals for Christians are strange floods of emotion. When a saint dies, family and friends are left in an emotional lightning storm. Sorrow and joy collide. Tears fall with grief of loss, but are...

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I'm amazed at how deep my own consumerism runs. This is most clearly visible to me at how righteously offended I feel when someone or something doesn’t measure up to my expectations. So when, for example, the internet in my home is running slowly, I immediately look for the person who I have...

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“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”-- Romans 15:13 (CSB)

The young man approached me with tears in his eyes.

I’d spoken about God’s amazing love for us and how His love...

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Sunday, 10 June 2018 15:05

Love Your Refugee Neighbor

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A Story

The water tastes different in Oak Ridge. The sounds outside are harsh. Shouting matches and profanities are common. These are daily realities in urban, government-subsidized housing developments like Oak Ridge. On most nights, however, a different tune resounds amid the discord. Two men,...

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Sunday, 10 June 2018 15:05

Link For The Church (6/11)

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Youth Group or Frat House?

Ian McLoud writes on how the youth group mindset can overemphasize fun over the gospel. He shares how we can move forward. 

Why Is The Substitutionary Atonement Essential?

"The principal work of Jesus on the cross was atoning for the sins of His people by standing...

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Saturday, 09 June 2018 15:15

We Live Unto the Lord

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"We live unto the Lord."-- Romans 14:8

If God had willed it, each of us might have entered heaven at the moment of conversion. It was not absolutely necessary for our preparation for immortality that we should tarry here. It is possible for a man to be taken to heaven, and to be found meet to be a...

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Thursday, 07 June 2018 15:10

Crazy Good News

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The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news that guilty sinners are reconciled to a holy and just God through the perfect life, sacrificial death, bodily resurrection and ascension of Jesus to the right hand of God, where he sits even now interceding for his people.

That’s a packed sentence....

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Thursday, 07 June 2018 15:05

Seeking Christ While Facing Debt

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Three words can immediately strike fear, anxiety, or regret (and sometimes all three) into many students in America: student loan debt.

Debt acquired in college can be difficult to discuss, but it is an important conversation for Christian young adults to have — especially those of us who feel...

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Wednesday, 06 June 2018 15:15

Be a Small Town Pastor

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I’ve reached the point in my life where, for whatever reason, I spend a good portion of my time encouraging and coaching younger men. I relish the opportunity to speak whatever affirmation and direction I am able to give to these young men, however limited. Among the younger men I counsel,...

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Wednesday, 06 June 2018 15:10

God is Not a Time-Hacking God

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As modern life runs ever faster on fiber optics and high-speed internet, redemptive history continues to load thoughtfully, pensively, and slowly.

I make no secret of my own “free two-day shipping” mindset. A mouse-click is almost a guarantee whenever a “time-hacking” article...

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Wednesday, 06 June 2018 15:05

Culture is the Backdrop for the Real Story

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Christians, God is infinitely more concerned about the heart, faith, behavior and unity of true believers in our country than the politics, economics, social trends, racial tensions, sexual downgrade, and international relations of the country.

But that does not mean these things have no meaning or...

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Tuesday, 05 June 2018 15:10

A Welcomed Eucatastrophe

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In 1938, J. R. R. Tolkien published a landmark essay, perhaps his most foundational, “On Fairy-Stories.”[1] In it, while seeking to defend the goodness of Happy Endings, he coined the term “eucatastrophe.”  A eucatastrophe is built from catastrophe—literally...

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